China eyes campaign to crack down on illicit press cards
A two-month campaign to confiscate the press cards of those who are not working as journalists or news editors will kick off early next year in China, according to a statement from the country's press regulator on Tuesday.
The campaign, which will start on Jan. 15, 2013, orders all press units to thoroughly check the status of press card holders "one by one" in order to determine what administrative personnel, advertising agents or entrepreneurs illegally possess press cards, said the statement from the General Administration of Press and Publication.
Those who have retired from journalistic posts should cancel their press cards, and those who have violated laws and regulations are not eligible to hold press cards, according to the statement.
It urged all news organizations to improve the management of their staff's microblogs and regulate their on-duty behaviors.
The statement also asked all media organizations to publish the lists of their news staff in their publications or on official websites in order to receive public supervision.
Those found violating the rules of holding press cards during the campaign will be subject to internal criticism, it said, adding that those found illegally holding press cards after the campaign ends will be given administrative penalties.
Some Chinese who are no longer news reporters still hold press cards and use them as a tool to deceive others and gain an advantage in business deals. Others use the cards to swindle money from people by posing as reporters.
Some companies or local governments have even given money to people posing as reporters in return for silence after the "reporters" claimed to have uncovered a scandal that could damage the image of the company or government.